Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blue Fish, Yellow Floral

Earlier this week I sneaked in an end-of-the-day torch session and made a floral. Andrea said I had to make it in colours I hadn't just used (red flowers, mystic background) so I went with a yellow on blue with goldstone and black and white stripes.
Then I made another fish because fish are fun!

What do you think of these photos? I bought different "daylight" bulbs and new light fixtures for the photobooth, and a very subtle grey gradient background. I like it but I think it could still be tweaked. Also I'm sad because I broke my gorillapod tripod trying to bend the top joint too far... :(

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Off-topic: Andrea co-painting a replica streetcar!

My lovely and talented partner Andrea Steinwand is, in addition to being a glass artist, a theatre production technician specializing in scenic painting. This is a cool video clip (She's the short, curvy blonde with the 2-tone pixie cut) promoting last Saturday's abridged outdoor production of "Strike: The Musical" about the historic 1919 General Strike in Winnipeg. Andrea co-painted a replica of "streetcar 596" which became the spark for this photograph which represents the General Strike in Canadian history.
Although it may sound like an unlikely theme for a musical it's actually very well-done (Andrea painted the set for the 2005 full-scale Winnipeg production) and a fun way to learn about our dramatic past! It's being staged again this summer at the Forks in Winnipeg if anyone is interested in checking it out.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shells and Fish

Rickie Voges's recent ocean-themed posts, and my rediscovery of a sculpted glass shell bead that I made a year or two ago, reminded me to revist some of my watery lampwork designs. First I made a very, very purple fish with enormous eyes, for my niece Christina who has been patiently waiting for one for ages. She'll have to wait a few more weeks until we visit Edmonton to give it to her in person!

I really enjoy making my hollow conch shells but I haven't made any in ages! The first one I made yesterday was wide with a translucent carnelian glass core and inner-layer, coated in opal yellow and decorated with silvered ivory shards and dots:

The second one was longer and more tapered, made of amethyst and silver-fumed white glass with a frilled lip:

This type of hollow glass conch shell *may* even be a unique design... at least, I came up with it on my own and haven't seen any quite like it. Not much is new under the sun but it's fun to explore nonetheless!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Monet Earrings

Here are the matching earrings to the bracelet I posted earlier this week!Now I'm off to coordinate our community clean-up... The weather's great and all the equipment arrived, but I still can't wait until tomorrow when I'll have time to torch and play with my new Bail Biter... The Peter's Tweezers just weren't cutting it for piercing boro! ;)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Entry for ABS's Monet theme!

This is our first Art Bead Scene entry! I created the lampworked glass beads using a 6-step process for this month's theme - Monet's Waterlilies. I used copper leaf, our own blue frit mix, coppered opal yellow, goldstone and orchid enamel. Each bead is shaped into a disk using a graphite Osibin lentil shaper, which allows more variation and control than a bead press. (I have several Osibin shapers and love them - they're so versatile!)

The bracelet uses pale, understated elements to keep the focus on the art beads. 4mm rutilated quartz and 8mm rose quarts round are spaced with bright sterling silver Bali daisies. The bracelet is finished with a bridge shaped bright sterling silver clasp. It is a sweetly wearable piece that, though abstract, bears a striking resemblance to Monet's Waterlilies series!

I've added the bracelet and matching earrings to our Flickr and also created new Etsy listings for them. We're trying to update our Etsy with more of our current work so stay tuned!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Greetings and thank-yous to all you mothers out there. Specifically my own mother, if she reads this! Hi Mom! I tried to call my mom and grandmother this morning but struck out both times - they were out on the town or already on the phone. Sometimes it's sad to live so far from family! We did have a lovely breakfast with some friends of ours and their little girl, at the fabulous Black Sheep Cafe. MMm, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure breakfast!

Andrea and I had a pretty productive weekend. I taught Beadmaking II at Prairie Stained Glass, with Sean, Jenny, Sandy, Krista and Kat. In Winnipeg that class rarely fills up so every time I get to teach it is a treat! It's so much fun to be able to explore beyond the basics and watch people making fish, gravity swirls, encased harlequins, basic florals and off-mandrel leaves for the first time. You guys did great - keep it up! :)

I also made a weird boro pendant in a style I'd like to explore further. It's a riff on our Gorget pendants, crossed with our Tilde toggles, but it doesn't have a name yet... though I guess Tilde Gorget would do! The photograph was taken while Andrea was planting some of our seedlings into bigger containers, and starting some new batches.

Now it's games night time! Hooray!

Monday, May 4, 2009


The show at Susan's was a rousing success! We met lots of old and new friends and customers. Susan is such a wonderful hostess and her home is so lovely. We said goodbye to some of our favorite pieces from late 2008 and early 2009. It can be hard to let certain pieces go! Goodbye, Danube floral! Goodbye, brand-new reactive stripy bead that I just made that Susan liked, so I gave it to her as a hostess gift! It didn't even have a name yet... *melodramatic sigh!* ;) But they all went to such good homes that I am comforted. :)

I taught a Beadmaking 1 class on Saturday at Prairie Stained Glass and two of my students came to the show the next day to check us out, which was sweet! I'm teaching again next week, a Beadmaking 2 class! There are still a few spaces but I don't mind a small class.

I can't believe it's May - last year our garden was really blooming by this time, but this year we only have a few early bulbs up. However, this weekend it really started to feel like summer. Beautiful warm sun... The world is starting to get green again after our grueling late spring and I'm so grateful!

Our next big project is the Winnipeg Folk Festival. It's only two months away! We need to increase our stock by 50-100% by then, so we'll definitely be keeping busy. :)